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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015

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FCC Reinstates Net Neutrality; Unfetters Local Broadband

FCC votes for net neutrality, a ban on paid fast lanes, and Title II. What can you do as an encore after that? Overturn state laws that protect ISPs from local competition. Then you drop the mic. Here's word on the net neutrality decision from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler:

The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. It is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field. Think about it. The Internet has replaced the functions of the telephone and the post office. The Internet has redefined commerce, and as the outpouring from four million Americans has demonstrated, the Internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.

This proposal has been described by one opponent as "a secret plan to regulate the Internet." Nonsense. This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech. They both stand for the same concepts: openness, expression, and an absence of gate keepers telling people what they can do, where they can go, and what they can think.

Fable Legends to be Free-to-Play

The Fable Legends website announces this will be a free-to-play game, saying, "You’ll be able to play Fable Legends from beginning-to-end without spending a penny. That means you’ll have access to the entirety of Fable Legends’ storyline and all of the quests we release this year and forever." Here's a trailer where Lionhead game director David Eckelberry explains the new business plan for the four versus one action game. Here's word:

So what does free to play mean for Fable Legends? To help explain our approach to free to play, we’ve laid out three clear commitments: OPEN
You’ll be able to play Fable Legends from beginning-to-end without spending a penny. That means you’ll have access to the entirety of Fable Legends’ storyline and all of the quests we release this year and forever.

Everything in Fable Legends that affects gameplay can be earned by simply playing the game.

Our goal is to have a happy community of players. We’ll be updating the game with exciting new quests to play through, Heroes to play as, Villain creatures to control, and lots more.

So how does Fable Legends work as a free to play game?

In Fable Legends, whether you’re adventuring as a Hero or smiting as a Villain, you will earn Silver to spend in-game. Everything that makes your Heroes or your creatures more powerful can be bought with the silver that you earn.

You’ll also be able to buy gold with real-world money, which can then be used to purchase many of the items that are also available for Silver.

Continue here to read the full story.

Supernova Announced

BANDAI NAMCO announces Supernova, a free-to-play MOBA with RTS elements they plan to launch for Windows PCs later this year. The Supernova website is online, accepting signups for alpha testing, which commences today. They also offer a cinematic trailer as well as a gameplay trailer. Here's the announcement:

BANDAI NAMCO Games America Inc. announces the epic new addition to their growing free-to-play lineup, Supernova, set to launch on PCs later this year. Set in the distant, space-faring future Supernova takes an innovative approach to the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre by adding real-time strategy (RTS) elements and promises an exciting science fiction setting with vast potential.

In Supernova the universe is the battle arena, and players must battle as humans or aliens for their race’s right to exist. Commanders from across the galaxy pit themselves against each other to save their race from extinction -- only the strongest commanders can save their species from interstellar annihilation. Players choose from a wide variety of commanders to control, such as giant robots, cyborgs, or interstellar races adapted to the unyielding harshness of space.

Atop this creative foundation, Supernova, allows lane minions to be upgraded in ways familiar to any RTS player providing an additional element of strategy to this truly unique MOBA. Infantry, mechanized land and air units provide a rock-paper-scissors triad to push the lane with depth only possible in Supernova.

Continue here to read the full story.

On PC Battlefield Hardline

The Battlefield website has an article on the Windows edition of Mike Glosecki, gameplay systems producer for Battlefield Hardline and self-professed hardcore gamer, who gives a rundown on what's being done to ensure Battlefield Hardline is a great PC game. He starts off explaining this is not a port of a console game: "Battlefield Hardline is being built on PC alongside the other platforms. We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over. Battlefield started on the PC with 1942 and we know we have a passionate fan base on this platform. Fans can expect the huge 64-player battles with that rock, paper, scissor gameplay that they have come to love in Hardline as well." Here's more on the PC edition:

What About the Power of PCs?
The PC allows you to customize the experience to your liking. You can play at much higher resolutions, 1920x1080 and beyond up to the capabilities of your video card. You can also use much higher graphic settings on PC – which you gives you the best texture filtering, texture quality, and anti-aliasing in addition to other benefits. You can adjust your field of view or run higher than 60 FPS if you choose. You can even play with a three monitor setup for an immersive experience. Lastly, you get to use a mouse and keyboard which gives you the best control setup for a first person shooter.

How Stable Will the Game Be on PC?
Stability has been one of the largest areas we’re focusing our attention at Visceral while developing Hardline. I think we can all agree that Battlefield 4’s stability at launch was less than stellar. In order to address stability for our game at launch, we’ve had the game up and running in the multiplayer environment for the last two years with both the development and quality assurance teams playing in daily matches. We’ve run two betas for the game as well, one at E3 and the pre-launch beta which just completed on Feb 9th. Both of these have not only helped us solidify the stability of our servers, but have also provided great feedback for us to address in the game. As a side note, we are also making changes to Battlelog to include a new pop-up on how to activate the plugin in your browser since this was an issue for some of our players.

Europa Universalis IV Free Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend and sale are underway for Europa Universalis IV. Here's the description of the strategy sequel:

Paradox Development Studio is back with the fourth installment of the award-winning Europa Universalis series. The empire building game Europa Universalis IV gives you control of a nation to guide through the years in order to create a dominant global empire. Rule your nation through the centuries, with unparalleled freedom, depth and historical accuracy. True exploration, trade, warfare and diplomacy will be brought to life in this epic title rife with rich strategic and tactical depth.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 - Episode 2 Teaser

CapCom Unity has posted a Resident Evil Revelations 2 - Episode 2 teaser trailer with a TV-style approach. It may be a dubious decision to watch, however, as they say: "I wouldn't necessarily consider these spoilers, but if you want to remain completely out of the loop maybe read up on Raid Mode or something :)" Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light Interactive Video

The Dying Light website offers an interactive "Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone" feature promoting Techland's zombie game. Here's word:

In the zombie apocalypse, when the night falls the rules of survival change. Who lives and who dies can be determined at the simple flip of a switch. Released today by Techland, “Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone” is an interactive story that seamlessly showcases the drastic changes between day and night in Dying Light.

The video presents daytime and nighttime side-by-side where the viewer can switch between the scenarios by pressing ‘Z’ on their keyboard and see how the same story of the quarantine can unfold in two very contrasting directions.

Mortal Kombat X Trailer

Hang on to your spinal column, as a new trailer shows off fatalities in Mortal Kombat X, the upcoming brawler sequel. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Emergency 5 - Deluxe Edition on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Galactic Civilizations Series on Steam. Save up to 75%
  • Humble Weekly Bundle: Made in Japan on Humble Bundle.

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: February's Best News Bloopers. "The poop!" Thanks nin.

Far Cry 4 Valley of the Yetis Next Month

Get ready for some bigfoot sightings, as Ubisoft announces March 10th is the release date for the Valley of the Yetis add-on for Far Cry 4, the first-person shooter sequel. They offer a new trailer from the DLC and the following explanation:

Players step back into the role of Ajay at the moment his helicopter crashes on a perilous Himalayan ridge. Stranded with no shelter, players must capture a camp and guard it from a mysterious cult who will return to reclaim their encampment. If players persevere, they will have more to fear than a stand-off against the cult, as yetis lurk in the shadows.

Players can take on Valley of the Yetis in single-player or with a friend in co-op as they fight to survive in the harsh Himalayan Mountains. While searching for a way out of the valley, they will unravel the mysteries behind the yetis.

Valley of the Yetis is available as part of the Far Cry 4 Season Pass or can be purchased separately. The Season Pass includes Valley of the Yetis as well as The Syringe, Escape from Durgesh Prison, the Hurk Deluxe Pack and Overrun.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ship Ahoy - République Remastered

Indie developer Camouflaj announces that the first three episodes of République Remastered are now available for Windows and OS X on GOG.com, Humble Store, and Steam (hats off to Steam for being the only service to gracefully handle the ill-advised "é" in the game's title). Word is the remake is the first game to show off the power of the Unity 5 engine: "RÉPUBLIQUE REMASTERED is the first commercial game to fully utilize the power of Unity 5, the next generation of the Unity multiplatform engine and development tool. Camouflaj has fully embraced the engine’s features, including physically based shading, real-time global illumination, and reflection probes." Here's a refresher on the game:

In RÉPUBLIQUE REMASTERED, players assist Hope, a desperate young woman struggling to escape from a secret, Orwellian state. Communicating using a stolen phone, Hope contacts the player and asks them to hack into the nation’s surveillance system, assume control, and guide her out of the clutches of the omnipresent Overseer. Literary works such as 1984 and Brave New World, and current geopolitical events including global surveillance and Internet censorship serve as key sources of inspiration for both the narrative and the stealth-survival gameplay. Players expand their control over surveillance cameras and other network-enabled devices, growing into an active threat to the Overseer and his grip over his shadowy nation.

RÉPUBLIQUE REMASTERED introduces Rena Strober as the voice of Hope, backed by an all-star voice talent team. Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard, Mass Effect series) plays Hope’s mentor, Mireille Prideaux, while David Hayter (Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid series) gives voice to Zager, revolutionary and ghost in the political machine. Also featured are veteran voice actors Khary Payton (Batman: Arkham Origins), and Dwight Schultz (killer7).

New Guild Wars 2 Cameras to Include First-Person

ArenaNet announces they will add new camera options including a first-person viewpoint to Guild Wars 2 in a patch for the MMORPG they plan to release on March 10th. They plan on unveiling this further in a livestream tomorrow on Twitch which should get underway at 3:00 pm EST (9:00 pm CET/ 20:00 GMT) and that will be followed by a new article on the plan on GuildWars2.com. Here are the details they are revealing for now:

  • First-person Camera
    Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any restrictions on where first-person can be used.
  • Field of View
    A much requested feature, the field of view slider is a setting that will allow players to adjust how much can be seen in the game world. Players can use a slider to shrink or enlarge the field of view.
  • Position Slider
    The Position Slider has been split into two different options, horizontal position and vertical position. The horizontal position slider will offset the camera to the left and right. An ‘over-the-shoulder’ view can be created as well to keep the centre of the screen clear. The vertical position sets the maximum height the camera can go when the camera is at maximum distance from a character. The actual camera height will adjust the more you zoom in to ensure that your character is always on the screen.
  • Collision Sensitivity
    When enabled, this setting will adjust how much stuff (trees, walls, rocks, etc.) needs to be between a player’s character and camera before the camera snaps in.
  • Character Height
    No matter the race or size, the camera will now focus on a character’s head. This is going to give norn players a relatively taller feeling than their asura-playing friends. This change might affect players who frequent jumping puzzles, so to counteract this, there is an adjust camera to character height toggle. When unchecked, the camera will move to a consistent position above the character’s feet, regardless of how big or small the character is.

Steamship Ahoy - A Druid's Duel

Steam now offers A Druid's Duel for Windows, OS X, and Linux, saying this is a variation on a "board game like chess" (are we at the point where board games need context like that?). Here's more:

To understand A Druid's Duel, take a board game like Chess, where each piece has a set of rules that govern it. Then, add in the ability to capture, create, and destroy tiles on the board. Finally, use the captured land to generate resources to buy new pieces. Perhaps Tom Chick, professional strategy game reviewer and the big boss over at Quarter to Three summed it up best, "A wonderfully plucky exercise in territory control, chess-like simplicity, mana management, landscaping, and rampaging bears."

Morning Patches

Morning Screenshots

  • Homeworld on Kotaku. Concept art. Thanks JDreyer.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today is the 86th anniversary of the establishment of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. I'm hoping this means the U.S. is the only nation on Earth with something so officially commemorating big breasts, which is what grand tetons means in French (and everyone thinks we're prudes!). Starts to make you wonder if there's some hidden meaning to the name of Jackson Hole. Just saying.

Grand Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Mad Day.
Steel Dangers 2.
Indy Cat.
Stories: Blomkamp‘s Alien Movie Will Ignore Alien 3 and Resurrection. Thank goodness (and nin).
Cherry Magnate Shoots Self in Head as Cops Raid Hidden Drug Stash.
Science: Earth’s Other ‘Moon’ And Its Crazy Orbit Could Reveal Mysteries Of The Solar System. Thanks Derek.
Peanut consumption in infancy helps prevent peanut allergies in kids at high risk, study finds. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: FROZEN - Blood Test scene (NSFW). Thanks JDreyer.
Try To Guess How Many Basset Hounds Are Going To Come Out Of This Dog House.
Foodfight Matarslagur. NSFW.

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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena Announced

Whitebox Interactive announces Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena, saying this combines elements of a MOBA with a twin-stick shooter (thanks PC Gamer). The Dark Nexus Arena website is live, offering presales with early access, and saying this is due in "Early Q2 2015," thought a full release is not expected until next year. Here's a teaser trailer and here's word:

Whitebox Interactive is pleased to announce our upcoming title - Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena! Set in the Wych arenas of Commorragh, Dark Nexus Arena is a blend of the twin stick shooter and MOBA genres. In teams of four, Veteran warriors hailing from the Space Marine, Ork, and Tau armies battle in bloody conflict to the death. We are slated to launch in 2016.

The team at Whitebox is elated to finally be able to share this news with you. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to the team and getting you up to speed on the state of the game. Head over to the Forums to say hello to the developers and introduce yourselves!

Continue here to read the full story.

Ship Ahoy - Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty

The Windows, OS X, and Linux edition of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is now available on GOG.com and Steam, with each site offering a 10% launch discount. Here's a rundown on the release from GOG.com:

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty earns the right to call itself a true remake. It's so much more than just a graphical upgrade, it's a modern retelling of the unforgettable experience that Abe's Oddysee was all these years ago. The unsettlingly beautiful visuals, the disturbingly odd universe, and the unforgivingly difficult gameplay were enough to leave a lasting impression on anyone who encountered Abe's Oddysee. Seventeen years later, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty retains the setting, the sounds, and the flavor; all brought up to modern platforming par, and beyond, with updated controls, refined mechanics and a reconstructed experience.
Also available for purchase are two pieces of DLC:

-Bonus level: Alf's Escape, a brand-new extensive level with completely fresh New 'n' Tasty mechanics.
-Alternative costume: Scrub Abe

Sid Meier's Starships Next Month

Civilization on Twitter tweets a release date for Sid Meier's Starships, the "adventure-driven strategy game" from Firaxis and the hall-of-fame designer. The tweet has room for the date, platforms, pricing, a previously released trailer, and a request for pimpage with a character to spare:

We are pleased to announce Sid Meier's Starships will launch on March 12 for $14.99 on PC, Mac and iPad. http://youtu.be/xQh6WjrRohc (RT plz!)

Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer; AMAA

A new "Gotham is Mine" trailer offers a look at some of the enemies that will confront the caped crusader in Batman: Arkham Knight, the upcoming third installment in the Arkham trilogy. Word is: "As Scarecrow unites the Rogues Gallery, including Two-Face, The Penguin, the Riddler, the Arkham Knight, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, they bring all-out war as they try to take down The Dark Knight, and claim Gotham City as their own." Developer Rocksteady celebrates the news with by announcing an AMAA session on Reddit that will take place tomorrow (thanks nin). They say: "They've agreed to let us host an AMAA right here tomorrow (Thursday) from 11am PST / 2pm EST / 7pm GMT / 8pm EU / 7am AU (Friday). We'll even have a few prizes to give away, so please stop by and let us know any questions that you have about our conclusion to the Arkham series." Continue here to read the full story.

Cities: Skylines Modding Diary

Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order offer this video developer diary from Cities: Skylines to highlight the modification tools for the upcoming urban-planning game. Word is: "Exploring the rich variety of modding tools available within Cities: Skylines, the video illustrates that you will be free to create your own individual vision of your perfect city, bringing your own ideas into the game and ultimately blurring the line between playing and creating." Continue here to read the full story.

The Evil Within: The Assignment Date; Gameplay Trailer

The Bethesda Blog offers a gameplay trailer from The Assignment, the upcoming DLC pack for The Evil Within, their survival/horror game. They also pin down the release date for this, saying the Windows edition will come to Steam on March 10th after previously only committing to sometime in March. Here's what they have to say about this:

For many that have completed The Evil Within, the mysteries surrounding Sebastian’s partner, Juli Kidman, are among the most discussed plotlines in the game. These questions (and new questions… hehe) will arise in Part 1 of Kidman’s DLC adventure, The Assignment.
Taking the role of Kidman, The Assignment features an increased focus on stealth gameplay mechanics as you untangle the secrets of what happened to her and untangle the truth behind her connection with Mobius. Introducing new enemies and gameplay tactics, The Assignment sets the stage for the concluding chapter of Kidman’s Adventure, The Consequence, releasing later this Spring.

To save on all three DLCs planned for The Evil Within – you can purchase the game’s Season Pass on your preferred platform of choice! In addition to The Assignment and The Consequence, this package will also feature content surrounding the safe pick for everyone’s favorite villain, The Keeper.

Continue here to read the full story.

AvP Classic 2000 Gets Cross-Distributor Multiplayer

Rebellion announces AvP Classic 2000 now supports multiplayer play for the throwback shooter now allows players to play the game together whether they bought it on Steam or GOG.com (thanks VG247). Their comment about this highlights the problem of dividing PC gaming along vendor lines, as it calls customers of the services two separate communities. This is a step in the right direction, however. Here's word:

For the first time in history, Marines, Aliens and Predators across the globe will be able to do battle across the two largest communities in PC gaming – Steam and GOG.com.

Originally launched on Steam in 2010 and on GOG.com in 2014, AVP Classic 2000 was downloaded by over 200,000 gamers in October 2014 during the Beta for DRM-free online gaming platform, GOG Galaxy. With new in-client chat capabilities, achievements, and automatic updates, the offer delighted fans and newcomers alike.

During that promotion Rebellion CEO, Jason Kingsley promised future support for cross-play between the Steam and GOG.com platforms praising both for their support of the concept, and today’s update marked the culmination of Rebellion’s close development work with both companies.

Now that gamers can be a part of a unified online multiplayer experience, the only question that remains is will you play as an Alien, Marine or Predator?

Grow Home Video Diary

Here's a video developer diary for Grow Home, the recently released exploration game from Ubisoft Reflections. Here's word: "In the video, players meet the team behind Grow Home, learn about the challenges and rewards of creating this experimental game and understand the passion and detail that went into the game’s design and artistic style." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Rise of the Owlverlord on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Over 9000 Zombies! on Steam. Save 25%.
  • RPG Maker sale on Bundle Stars.

Evening Patches

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: 10 Animals Who Have Given Up On Life. Thanks Ant.

Spaceship Ahoy - Homeworld Remastered Collection

Gearbox Software announces the release of the Homeworld Remastered Collection, saying the sci-fi RTS remake bundle is available on Steam and on Amazon. They note the first reviews for this are now available on Ars Technica, Engadget, God is a Geek, IGN, and The Verge. Here's a launch trailer they released yesterday, and here's word:

We couldn’t be happier to finally launch this labor of love, which we’ve been hard at work on ever since the acquisition of Homeworld back in 2013.

"The genesis behind Homeworld was that of an epic journey," said Alex Garden, founder and former CEO of Relic Entertainment. “I could never have imagined, over 15 years later, that the journey would be so lovingly remastered by a passionate team that cares as much about that story as we do. The idea that people will be able to play through Homeworld again with technology, effects and detail we could only dream of at the time -- I can't wait."

“It’s an absolute honor to make a franchise as important as Homeworld accessible to modern audiences,” said Brian Martel, Chief Creative Officer at Gearbox Software. “I couldn’t be prouder of the effort that has gone into presenting Homeworld as the experience it was always meant to be, not only as a co-owner of Gearbox but as a longtime fan of the series.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Hotline Miami 2 Next Month

Developer Dennaton Games and publisher Devolver Digital announce a March 10th release date for Hotline Miami 2 for Windows, Linux, OS X, and consoles. There will be a standard and a Digital Special Edition, the latter of which includes the exclusive Hotline Miami 2: Remix EP and a tie-in for PAYDAY 2 owners. Here's word:

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is the brutal conclusion to the Hotline Miami saga, set against a backdrop of escalating violence and retribution over spilled blood in the original game. Follow the paths of several distinct factions – each with their own questionable methods and uncertain motivations – as unforeseen consequences intersect and reality once again slips back into a brilliant haze of neon and bloodshed.

Hotline Miami fans can now pre-order to receive 10% off Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and the Digital Special Edition that includes the exclusive Hotline Miami 2: Remix EP featuring six select music tracks remixed by M|O|O|N, Scattle and Carpenter Brut.

Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital have also partnered with Overkill Software to introduce exclusive new Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number masks and a “Jacket” character pack for PAYDAY 2 free to owners of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and the Digital Special Edition (www.overkillsoftware.com/hotlinemiami2.)

Resident Evil Revelations 2 Released; Missing Co-op Complaints

Steam News announces the launch of Resident Evil Revelations 2 / Biohazard Revelations 2 on Steam, offering the first installment in the episodic entry in the survival/horror series. An issue with the release has cropped up, however, as co-op support is not included in the Windows edition, in spite of the following entry in its feature list: "Assistive co-op play – Players will need to switch between the two characters (Claire/Moira, Barry/Natalia) to overcome the nightmares in either single player mode with an AI partner or offline co-op." NeoGAF is one of the place where complaints about this situation abound, and VG247 has a follow-up response about what's going on from Capcom which explains that online co-op support is coming to PCs in a patch, but offline co-op is not, in spite of it still being listed as a game feature: "The decision to prioritize a single local screen was made to ensure a stable user experience across a variety of different PC settings and devices. Raid mode will support online co-op shortly after launch when a free patch is available for players to download which adds this feature, but the main campaign on PC will only be available to play in single local screen." Now that we've got that figured out, here's a launch trailer and word on the game itself:

The beginning of the Resident Evil Revelations 2 tale sees fan favorite Claire Redfield make a dramatic return. Survivor of the Raccoon City incident depicted in previous Resident Evil games, Claire now works for the anti-bioterrorism organization Terra Save. Moira Burton, is attending her welcome party for Terra Save when unknown armed forces storm the office. Claire and Moira are knocked unconscious and awaken later to find themselves in a dark and abandoned detention facility. Working together, they must find out who took them and to what sinister end. Will Claire and Moira make it out alive and discover what’s led to them being taken to this remote island? A story of twists and turns will have players guessing the next step at every turn.

Continue here to read the full story.

DirectX 12 to Allow Multi-Vendor GPU Mixing?

DirectX 12 will allow users to use AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in tandem in the same system, according to Tom's Hardware (thanks PCGamesN). This is unconfirmed. as they say this comes by way of "a source with knowledge of the matter," a source so circumspect it would not even invoke the term "DirectX," saying this info is about an "unspoken API." Here's what their tight-lipped source tells them:

We were also told that DirectX 12 will support all of this across multiple GPU architectures, simultaneously. What this means is that Nvidia GeForce GPUs will be able to work in tandem with AMD Radeon GPUs to render the same game – the same frame, even.

This is especially interesting as it allows you to leverage the technology benefits of both of these hardware platforms if you wish to do so. If you like Nvidia's GeForce Experience software and 3D Vision, but you want to use AMD's TrueAudio and FreeSync, chances are you'll be able to do that when DirectX 12 comes around. What will likely happen is that one card will operate as the master card, while the other will be used for additional power.

What we're seeing here is that DirectX 12 is capable of aggregating graphics resources, be that compute or memory, in the most efficient way possible. Don't forget, however, that this isn't only beneficial for systems with multiple discrete desktop GPUs. Laptops with dual-graphics solutions, or systems running an APU and a GPU will be able to benefit too. DirectX 12's aggregation will allow GPUs to work together that today would be completely mismatched, possibly making technologies like SLI and CrossFire obsolete in the future.

There is a catch, however. Lots of the optimization work for the spreading of workloads is left to the developers – the game studios. The same went for older APIs, though, and DirectX 12 is intended to be much friendlier. For advanced uses it may be a bit tricky, but according to the source, implementing the SFR should be a relatively simple and painless process for most developers.

Vector Thrust Beta

Vector Thrust is now in the beta testing stage on Steam, as publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer TimeSymmetry announce their early access arcade flight sim has transitioned out of the alpha phase. This post has details on how the beta differs from the alpha, and says they expect the game to officially launch before the middle of this year: "With Beta status, Vector Thrust introduces more features, more aircraft, more weapons and 50 missions. We have spent half a year in alpha but we feel the game is really shaping up nicely and with your help we will be on our way to leave Early Access in Q2-2015."

iRacing.com Extends NASCAR Partnership

A post from a couple of weeks ago on the iRacing.com website informs us of an extension to the licensing agreement between the online racing game and NASCAR though December 2020. "We’re thrilled NASCAR will continue as our partner and assist in sanctioning our multiple NASCAR iRacing online race series," said Tony Gardner, President of iRacing.com. "From late models and trucks through to the pinnacle of sim racing – the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing.com – NASCAR and iRacing are committed to delivering a state-of-the-art sim racing experience to race fans." Thanks CarGamingBlog.

Oscura: Lost Light Released

Chocolate Liberation Front now offers Oscura: Lost Light, which is a third installment in a platformer series, but the first to come to PCs, as it is available on Steam for Windows, Linux, and OS X. This has a distinctive silhouette art style which is admittedly inspired by the animated films of Tim Burton. They say: "Oscura: Lost Light is the third game in the critically acclaimed series that blends a minimalistic Tim Burton-esque art style with classical platforming mechanics that are sure to test even seasoned gaming veterans." This launch trailer shows off the game, and here's an outline of what it offers:

Out now, Oscura: Lost Light tells the origin story of our accidental hero, Oscura, as he takes on a quest to bring light back to the Dirftlands after inadvertently destroying the Aurora Stone, which plunges his home into darkness. It’s not just the shadows that Oscura needs to worry about, it’s what hides within. During his journey Oscura will inherit special powers from four crystals which allow him to build or destroy obstacles, defy gravity and slow down time, all of which will increase his chances of survival.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Thanks Ant.

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Had a weird battery incident for the second day in a row, which makes for compound weirdness. This morning I noticed an odd humming, which I tracked down to a vibrating pillow on which I placed a heavy box yesterday, setting off the vibrating action ("But, when a suitcase vibrates, then the throwers gotta call the police" -- Fight Club). The thing is that this oddball item has been sitting around untouched for years now. At some point a long time ago I opened it up and replaced its "D" batteries, but the replacements were mostly dead too, so I moved on (who keeps those old-fashioned monsters around these days?). So somehow those batteries were too drained to operate it properly at the time, but years later managed to keep that thing mildly buzzing all night. Either I have to find the aliens beaming power into the BlueTower or get myself fitted for a proper tinfoil hat.

Powerful Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Mourn.
War Story.
Combat 4.
Link: Design student creates functional Batsuit.
Media: A Gritty Short Based On 'Power Rangers.'
Anchorwoman Doesn't Know What Sphincter Is. She's actually 100% correct.
Table Tennis - Shot of the day. Ping pwn.

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